InnovateHER, from the Small Business Administration (SBA) is a cross-cutting prize competition to unearth innovative products and services that help impact and empower the lives of women and families. Entrepreneurs selected as winners in local competitions will advance to the semi-final round. From the pool of semifinalists, SBA will select up to 10 finalists who will be invited to the National InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Business Challenge. The finalists will pitch their products and ideas to a panel of expert judges and compete for the top three awards and a total of $70,000 in prizes.

Contestants must develop a product or service that meets the following three Challenge criteria:
• Has a measurable impact on the lives of women and families (30%);
• Has the potential for commercialization (40%); and
• Fills a need in the marketplace (30%).

If you are up for the challenge, STEP 1 is to enter a local competition. To enter the competition at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, NJ, submit your business plan per the Challenge Criteria to info@mosbdc.com by May 17, 2017. 
Finalists will be notified on May 24, 2017.
The top 5 selected finalists will pitch to the panel on June 2, 2017.

Entrepreneurs selected as winners in local competitions will advance to the semi-final round.
From the pool of semifinalists, SBA will select up to 10 finalists who will be invited to the National InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Business Challenge to be held in mid-2017. The finalists will pitch their products and ideas to a panel of expert judges and compete for the top three awards and a total of $70,000 in prizes.

Additional details:

Small Business Administration (SBA) How to Write a Business Plan information https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/write-your-business-plan and

Small Business Administration (SBA) Business Financials (minimum Break-Even and Cash Flow) https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/business-financials

2017 InnovateHER Challenge can be found at https://www.challenge.gov/challenge/2017-innovateher-innovating-for-women-business-challenge/

Women are in the workforce now more than ever, a number that is close to surpassing that of men. Gender equality is not simply about getting a woman a spot at the metaphorical table. Women have made great strides in education, the workforce, and their role in the economy, but there are still not enough women in leadership positions.

SBA recognizes that over the past two decades, women entrepreneurs have been critical to growing businesses and creating jobs, whether it’s in in cutting-edge fields like precision medicine or cybersecurity or through advances in agriculture or manufacturing. Consider this: the number of women venture capital partners has dropped to 6 percent in 2014, down from 10 percent in 1999. This directly correlated with women’s access to capital; only about 7 percent of venture capital funding in the United States goes to women. A Harvard Business School study asked potential investors to rate a series of pitches, some of which were narrated by women and some by men. Even when the scripts were exactly the same, only 32 percent of people said they’d fund the woman, compared to 68 percent who said they would fund the man.